Every two weeks, Mike Moffatt, Senior Director at SPI, explores five things to watch in the green economy in a segment for Smart Prosperity: The Podcast. Click here to listen to this week's episode.


On top of all the additional news, research, and analysis covered in the podcast, here are five (other) things happening in the green economy this week:


1) Last week’s G7 summit led to some important commitments on the environment, including 100 billion dollars per year to help developing countries cut climate emissions. Leaders also promised to stop funding coal-fired power plants and to work together on nature and biodiversity.


2) Canada’s environment minister announced that the federal government will no longer approve new thermal coal mining projects. The lower-quality coal, which is burned for electricity around the world, is the single biggest contributor to global climate change.


3) A flurry of announcements, including from Suncor, Cenovus and TC Energy, suggests that “carbon grids” will be a key solution for Alberta’s oil and gas sector to become carbon neutral by 2050. Carbon grids are pipeline systems that capture greenhouse gas pollution from individual oil and gas facilities and then move it to hubs where it can be stored underground.


4) The City of Vancouver is considering using parking fees to discourage residents from using fossil-fuel emitting vehicles. The proposal would see gas-powered cars burdened with additional parking charges on city streets, up to $1000 per year, while electric vehicles would be exempt. The innovative policy is designed to improve local air quality, an issue where the City has few other policy levers.


5) Last week a group of scientists announced that they successfully converted a plastic bottle into vanilla flavouring. It is the first time that a commercially viable chemical has been manufactured using plastic waste. It remains unclear that the world could eat enough vanilla ice cream to offset the 8 million tonnes of plastic pollution entering our oceans every year.


Listen to the full segment, and plenty of other great content, in today's new episode of Smart Prosperity: The Podcast. Our podcast provides fresh takes on the current affairs, politics, research and business of the clean economy. New episodes posted every two weeks.